2 out of 4 stars
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Rosegrant is a horror novel written by Jason Beam. In the book, Kelsie Mears, who is a senior in high school, finds an ancient book of spells that travels through time. Throughout the years, the evil book causes a lot of carnage in the town of Rosegrant, Oregon. In 1914, a mother named Mary Kane was convinced to murder her three daughters in exchange for gaining supernatural powers from a demon. Mary Kane was tricked, and her daughters became the soul collectors for the demon for eternity. They would draw other unsuspecting people into reading the evil book of spells and committing horrible acts so that people’s souls would become corrupt and also taken over by the demon. In 2018, Kelsie feels picked on by her classmates and neglected by her father. She thinks that her life has no meaning, and the only person that she cares about is Chase Bracks, a boy that goes to her high school. Kelsie is completely obsessed with Chase and wants to be with him more than anything in the world. Unfortunately for Kelsie, Chase has no interest in her and also has a girlfriend. After getting her hands on the ancient book, Kelsie believes that she can finally make Chase love her by chanting the spells. However, Kelsie is unaware of the full extent of the evil book’s power and that it can cause her to lose her soul. Can anyone destroy the demon and the ancient book of spells before it’s too late, or will the demon use the soul collectors to gather more souls and ravage all of the people of Rosegrant? Find out in this exciting and suspenseful thriller that provides many terrifying twists and turns.
I really enjoyed the premise of the book. I also found the plot and the story to be extremely engaging and genuinely scary in certain places. For the most part, it was a fun and entertaining read. I was immediately drawn into the mystique of the story and the horror surrounding the ancient book of spells. I also liked finding out some of the background information in the prologue about how the demon tricked Mary Kane and the way the soul collectors were created. The book kept my interest until the end, and I was intrigued by how everything would conclude. Even though the novel was the first part of a trilogy series, and not everything could be neatly resolved, I appreciated that there were still plenty of answers given.
One of the issues that I had with the book was that some of the dialogue between the characters was very repetitive. Characters kept repeating similar phrases and words over and over. Some of the dialogue could have been written in a more clever way. Most of the characters were teenagers, so the author might have been trying to use language and dialogue that young people supposedly utilize. However, some of the dialogue didn’t seem realistic or authentic.
Another issue I had was the fact that most of the characters in the book were really unlikable. They also behaved in very strange ways. There were a lot of characters in the story, and it was very difficult to root for any of them. The lone exception was one character that was introduced in the middle of the book. Even after going through life-threatening situations together, which theoretically should have bonded them, characters were still attacking one another and treating each other horribly. Nobody seemed to grow or change from their experiences, so there was a lack of character development in the book.
I’m rating this book 2 out of 4 stars. I liked the premise and the plot of the novel. I thought that the story was engrossing and appropriately scary. The fact that there was a prologue that provided more past details was also a plus. The suspense was building throughout the book, and I was entertained until the end. Likewise, the editing was professional, and there were only a few small typos found. The fact that the second volume of the series is already available should also be welcome news for fans of this novel. I’m taking two stars away because I found that some of the dialogue was repetitive and lacking in authenticity. Also, most of the characters were not fully developed, hard to root for, and unlikable. I would recommend this novel to people that like horror books and suspenseful thrillers. People might also enjoy this book if they prefer story and plot over character likability and development.
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